Can I Claim For Injuries At Work Caused By A Lack Of Safety Goggles?
By Daniel Carpenter. Last updated on 7th January 2022. Have you had an accident at work that resulted in injuries caused by a lack of safety goggles or other appropriate PPE? Was it your employer’s responsibility to supply the safety goggles but they failed to do so? If so, and the accident was not your fault, then you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
In this guide, we explain the requirements employers must follow to provide adequate eye protection when needed. We also look at how workplace eye injuries caused by a lack of safety goggles can occur. This guide will explain how you can make a compensation claim if you suffer an eye injury due to the negligence of your employer and how to get specialist advice for your claim.
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You can contact UK Law today for free advice on personal injury claims. If you have questions specifically about claiming for an eye injury, then we are happy to advise on these. You can reach us online by using our online contact form or our live chat service. You can also call us on 020 3870 4868
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Eye Injuries Caused By No Safety Goggles
- What Is An Eye Injury Caused By No Safety Goggles?
- Personal Protective Equipment For The Eyes In The Workplace
- Why Is Protective Eyewear Important?
- Workplace Eye Injury Compensation Calculator
- What Protective Eyewear Must An Employer Provide?
- What Are The Most Common Causes Of Eye Injuries In The Workplace?
- Chemical, Industrial And Other Eye Injuries
- How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For An Eye Injury?
- I Suffered An Eye Injury Due To A Lack Of Safety Goggles, What Should I Do?
- Eye Injury Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Contact Us For More Help
- Other Information
- FAQs About Personal Protective Equipment For Eyes
If you get an eye injury at work, you may be unsure of what actions to take. You may also be unclear on whether you are able to start a personal injury claim. Read on to learn more about requirements which employers must meet in terms of providing the right protective equipment for your eyes and other parts of your body. We will also look at how eye injuries can occur. The circumstances in which you could potentially claim compensation for an eye injury will also be explained.
In some cases, an eye injury may have occurred at work partly because a victim did not have access to safety goggles which would have protected them from harm. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, it may be found that a company associated with the victim was negligible for not providing the required safety equipment.
If your work duties require you to be close to a hazardous area, then steps should be taken to minimise your risk of harm. As part of these measures, workers in potentially hazardous areas usually wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect areas of their body that could be vulnerable to harmful substances during work activities. Safety goggles are one type of PPE that should be issued for certain types of work.
If goggles are faulty or not supplied while working in a hazardous environment, this could ultimately lead to an eye injury occurring. While some eye injuries caused by a lack of safety goggles can be minor and allow for full recovery, more serious cases could lead to significant damage which permanently affects the victim’s eyesight.
A piece of legislation called the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 requires organisations to provide PPE (which may include safety goggles) to their staff when appropriate. Employers are also given responsibility to maintain the PPE and ensure it remains in good and working order.
Depending on where you work, the following regulations may also mandate the use of PPE by employees:
- Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002
- The Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999
- Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
- The Control of Substance Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
- Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
What else should employers do when providing PPE?
Eyewear and other required PPE needs to fit the workers who will be wearing it. So if, for example, a worker wears glasses, then their employer should make sure they receive safety goggles or other suitable eyewear which doesn’t affect their vision. One way of achieving this could be to provide safety goggles that are specially designed to fit over regular spectacles.
Sometimes, an employee may refuse to wear certain required PPE. This could be for medical or religious reasons. If, however, an employee refuses to wear PPE without a good reason, then they could be subject to disciplinary action or dismissal. If you sustain an eye injury at work because you lacked eye protection, then you are unlikely to be able to claim compensation if you had a clear opportunity to put on suitable protection prior to the incident.
When an employer needs to provide eye protection to their workers, then they should also clearly explain why it is necessary for them to use it. Employers should inform their staff about the risks faced if the provided PPE is not used. Information on how to wear safety goggles and other PPE correctly should also be provided clearly by employers. It is not enough for an employer to simply hand out PPE which is required for work.
If you work or enter any area with known hazards, wearing PPE including protective eyewear is critical for minimising the risk of injury. Areas that contain harmful liquids, debris or other hazardous materials can do a lot of damage to someone who lacks PPE. The same dangers apply if the PPE someone is wearing is faulty. Failing to wear PPE in a hazardous area for even a brief moment of time could lead to a serious injury.
Potential risks from not wearing protective eyewear or other necessary PPE can include the following:
- Air contaminated by pollutants or chemicals
- Chemical burns to the body
- Collisions and impacts with vehicles or machinery
- Damage to hearing due to excessive noise
- Electric shocks
- Excessive vibrations
- Eyes exposed to liquid chemicals
- Falling debris or objects
- Lacerations or eye punctures
One question you may have when making a claim for a workplace eye injury could be about the amount of compensation you will receive. Several factors influence how much compensation may be paid out for an eye injury claim. The severity of the injury is one factor. Also, the claimant may also be able to claim for psychological injuries related to the eye injury (or the incident which caused the injury). For instance, a victim who suffers an eye injury may also experience post-traumatic stress disorder.
In the table below, we’ve included amount brackets for physical and psychological injuries. The bracket amounts are based on figures provided by the Judicial College Guidelines. This document may be used by solicitors when working out the value of injuries caused by a lack of safety goggles.
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Total Blindness||In the region of £252,180|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Total Loss of One Eye||£51,460 to £61,690|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Loss Of Sight In One Eye||£46,240 to £51,460|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Minor Injuries||£3,710 to £8,200|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Transient Injuries||£2,070 to £3,710|
|Psychiatric Damage Generally||Severe||£51,460 to £108,620|
|Psychiatric Damage Generally||Moderate||£5,500 to £17,900|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Severe||£56,180 to £94,470|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Moderate||£7,680 to £21,730|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Less Severe||£3,710 to £7,680|
The injuries listed in the table above fall under general damages as part of a compensation payout. When claiming compensation, you may also receive money for special damages. This focuses on financial losses caused directly by your injury. An example of compensation for special damages would claim back any loss of earnings.
By law, Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, Regulation 4, employers should provide suitable eyewear where there are risks to health and safety. This is where the risk cannot be lowered by any other means. It is a good idea to inform employees as to why the eyewear is required and what risks they could face without it.
It is not enough for an organisation to simply hand out PPE items if they are needed. Responsible employers should also carry out audits to make sure that staff are wearing the PPE which they need. They should also check that the PPE itself remains in good condition and repair or replace it when necessary.
If an employer discovers that one of their workers is not using eyewear where they should, an investigation should be carried out to find out why. The risks should clearly be explained to the employee. And any disciplinary action if necessary.
Section 9 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, states employees should not have to pay for PPE if it is only used for work purposes. It is the employer’s responsibility to pay for the purchasing of safety goggles and other PPE when it is necessary to protect against heath and safety risks.
Depending on where you work, failing to wear safety goggles or similar eyewear could expose your eyes to harmful substances. The risk can be especially high if you fail to wear eye protection within an industrial workplace.
Substances that can harm the eyes when you’re not wearing safety goggles can include the following:
- Splashes from acids or liquid chemicals
- Dust particles
- Chemical gases or harmful vapours
- Molten metal
All these substances can cause immediate and serious injuries if they make contact with your eyes. Some substances may not harm the eyes in a way that’s not immediately obvious. They can, however, do a lot of harm in the long run. That is why it’s so important to wear appropriate eye protection in every situation where it’s necessary.
If you do not wear adequate eye protection within an industrial workplace or when near harmful chemicals, then you could be vulnerable to getting a serious eye injury. In industrial environments and similar workplaces, your eyes could suffer severe burn damage if they are exposed to chemical powder or liquids. If your eyes do get exposed to harmful chemicals, it is vital you seek medical attention.
If you suffer chemical burns to your eyes because you weren’t provided with safety goggles by your employer, or they did not train you on the proper way to wear PPE, then you could be eligible to claim compensation from them.
injury is three years from the day the injury occurred or the date of knowledge. If you wish to claim for a workplace eye injury, then we recommend starting this as soon as possible.
In some circumstances, the three-year time limit can be frozen (at least on a temporary basis). For instance, it will be frozen if an eye injury is sustained by someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf. Potentially, a representative could claim on behalf of the victim before they’ve recovered their mental capacity. This representative is known as a litigation friend.
If someone below the age of 18 suffers an eye injury in a workplace or elsewhere, then the three-year time limit is also frozen in these circumstances. The time limit will remain frozen until the injured party reaches their 18th birthday.
The injured party will not be able to start a claim on their own before their 18th birthday. However, a Litigation Friend can potentially start a claim on behalf of someone else before they’ve reached their 18th birthday.
You can contact UK Law for free if you need more advice on the time limit for your potential personal injury claim.
If you have suffered an eye injury, then your first action should be to seek the medical care you require to treat your injury. If you intend to pursue a compensation claim for your injury, then it is worth obtaining evidence of your treatments. Medical evidence can include reports or discharge letters.
Before starting a claim, you need to consider the circumstances which lead to your eye injury. Did negligence from another party contribute to your injury? Would wearing eye protection normally be expected in the situation which led to your injury?
Did your employer fail to provide you with adequate eye protection? If you can answer yes to these questions and support your claims with evidence, then you are more likely to be eligible for compensation.
When you have sufficiently recovered from your injuries that were caused by a lack of safety goggles, you can then look to gather other evidence to support your compensation claim. Evidence could include security camera footage of the incident which caused your eye injury, photos or witness contact information.
When you’ve gathered the evidence available, you could then choose to hire a solicitor to support your case. If you do, and your injury occurred at work, then we recommend that you choose a solicitor with experience in handling accident at work claims.
A solicitor you choose to contact can review your potential claim based on the information and evidence you can provide to support it. If the solicitor is happy to support your claim, you can then sign an agreement with them and they’ll then guide you through the formal process of claiming.
You’re welcome to contact UK Law today if you need any advice on how to claim for an eye injury at work.
You may be concerned about the financial implications of making a claim for injuries caused by a lack of safety goggles. If you’re worried about the cost of hiring a solicitor to assist you, we may have a solution.
All of the expert lawyers on our panel assist their clients under a No Win No Fee agreement. This agreement is as simple as it sounds. If your lawyer does not succeed in helping you receive compensation, then you are not obligated to cover their costs. We have no hidden fees either.
If your solicitor is successful in helping you receive a payout, then they will be paid via a small and legally-capped percentage of the final amount. You will be made aware of this at the start of the arrangement.
It is legal to make a claim without enlisting a legal professional. However, if you are unfamiliar with the process then claiming compensation can be a tricky and confusing venture. You may find that having a legal professional by your side is a helpful addition. You can ask them questions and they will offer you advice and guidance when required.
Additionally, if you are claiming without a No Win No Fee agreement, you may still be expected to cover legal costs even if you are not awarded compensation. These fees can be quite expensive. Therefore, if you don’t have a compensation payout to help cover these costs then you could end up in financial distress as a result.
If you have any queries regarding things that have been mentioned in this article, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our advisors are ready and waiting to answer any questions you have and to assist you in any way they can.
We are here at any time of the day or night. Delaying could hinder your chances of success if you are near the end of your 3-year time limit for personal injury claims. Don’t take the risk. You can reach us by:
- Submitting a request for information through our claim online form
- Chatting to us using the pop-up window in the corner
- Calling us on 020 3870 4868
Looking for more advice related to compensation claims for workplace injuries? You can check out our other guides linked to below:
In this guide, we look at your legal rights when you want to make a compensation claim against your employer while still working for them.
This guide takes a closer look at claims centred on slips and falls on ice at a place of work.
Some accidents can occur at work because staff did not receive adequate training. In this guide, we look at potential compensation claims centred on this issue.
Find out more about what you should and shouldn’t do following certain eye injuries.
CCTV footage can be a vital piece of evidence if you can access it. Find out how here.
Specific NHS advice regarding injuries with chemicals in the eye.
For this final section of our guide, we’ve answered questions we’ve been asked previously about eye injuries and eye protection for workers.
What is eye protection PPE?
Eye protection is a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) that provides a barrier to prevent sharp objects or infectious materials from entering the eyes. There are different types of eye protection PPE which include safety goggles, face shields, safety glasses and full-face respirators.
What is the most basic protection against eye injury?
There are different types of personal protective equipment (PPE) that are capable of protecting the eyes or even the whole face. Both safety goggles and safety glasses may be worn to specifically protect the eyes alone.
Which of the following hazards require the use of eye protection?
Depending on your place of work, there are numerous kinds of potential hazards that may justify the use of eye protection. Examples include dust particles, chemical gases, projectiles and splashes from liquid chemicals.
What is the most important aspect of eye protection?
Any eye protection required should be comfortable to wear. It should also allow for adequate peripheral vision when completing your work duties. If necessary, it should also be adjustable to ensure a secure fit. It may also be necessary for an employer to provide eye protection in multiple sizes and styles.
Thanks for reading our guide on workplace eye injuries caused by a lack of safety goggles.
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